Hello everyone. It has been a little over a year since I wrote my last blog post “Entering the TWA Stage” and since then my hair has grown by leaps and bounds. In this phase I was surprised by how fast my hair grew but I attribute this to finally finding a hair regimen that really works for me. Throughout the TWA phase I learned a lot about what it takes to grow and maintain healthy natural length however there were some surprises along the way
So here it is The Top 5 Things you should know about going natural.
1. Reality Check
When I decided to do the big chop I had a goal in mind. I believed after I cut the relaxed ends off and reached my two-year anniversary my hair would look like it did when I was transitioning to natural. When transitioning, I thought I would have hair that resembled 3c hair but at close to two years natural when I would look and see how loose my curls pattern was I can tell you that my hair is not 3c but rather 4a. I had to come to terms and accept my hair for what it was, learn how to care and maintain it and more importantly I needed to learn to love the hair God gave me.
2. Not wash hour but “wash day”
When I began this natural hair journey I could wash and deep condition my hair in 30 minutes. Now, I have to notch out at least half the day to do my hair. From start to finish it takes me three to four hours for me to wash and style my hair. Thank God for my Kindle and Pandora or I would go insane. I start by detangling my hair and twisting it into sections so that I can shampoo and deep condition it. After I go through the deep conditioning process I still have to style my hair. All I know is that if I start mid-afternoon I won’t be done until its dark outside.
3. “I woke up like this… not really” Styling will take a ton of patience, time and products.
Once my hair became long enough I decided to try doing a twist out. The first time was an epic fail. Don’t get me wrong the twist out came out fantastic, my scalp just didn’t like the product I used. I remember waking up one morning and my scalp was on fire. I had to wash my hair IMMEDIATELY! After my first failed attempt, I don’t think I attempted another twist out for a few months. Before I attempted another twist out I went on YouTube and watched a few tutorials. I needed guidance on the types of products I should use. After a little trial and error I got the hang of my twist outs. So just remember Styling will take a ton of patience, time and products. Stick with it and you will succeed.
4. Become a Cover Girl… Protective Styles are your best friend
I have already established a healthy hair routine. So now often I wear protective styles to keep my hair moisturized. My first protective style was a lace front wig. I wore that wig for a month and a half. I washed my hair once a week, kept my hair in twist throughout the week and moisturized my hair every other night. I noticed after a month that my hair retained some length. So I have decided to continue with protective styling until it becomes warmer or until I miss my hair.
5. It’s a thin line… It’s okay to have a love-hate relationship with your hair.
This winter was the worst winter I have ever experienced. Because it was so cold the constant heat from my space heater was sucking all the moisture out of my hair. I would moisturize my hair in the morning and by the end of the day it felt like straw. I decided to start putting my hair in protective styles to protect my hair and retain my length. And to be honest the daily regimen quickly turned from a ritual to a chore.
I enjoy the versatility of my natural hair. I love the fact that as it grows I can try different styles and I can put it in a protective style when it needs a break. Right now however I feel like I need a break from my hair. I felt like I was getting to the point that my hair was taking over the majority of my time. If I had to wash, condition, twist and untwist my hair one more time I was going to scream! It’s like when you drop your child off at the babysitter. You still love your child and eventually you’ll go back for them but for a moment you can focus on other things. ! I hope that reading this post doesn’t discourage anyone from exploring natural hair as an option. Just be warned that it will be a commitment of both time and money but like anything else in life we reap what we sow. The satisfaction that one can gain from growing, styling, and maintaining your own natural beautiful hair is well worth it.